Built as a passenger liner under yard No 214 Blohm & Voss, Hamburg for the Hamburg-Amerikanische Packetfahrt-AG, (HAPAG) at Hamburg.
1913 Keel laid down.
20 June 1914 launched as the BISMARCK, christened by Countess Hanna von Bismarck, the granddaughter of the 19th century German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, after which the ship was named.
Tonnage 56.551 gross, 26.249 net, dim. 279.04 (l.bpp)x 30.5 x 17.74m.
Powered by four Parsons steam turbines, 62.000 shp. manufactured by builder, four screws, speed 23.5 knots.
Accommodation for 750 first class, 545 second and 850 third class passengers. 1.000 crew.
August work was ceased and she was laid up for the duration of the First World War at Hamburg.
28 March 1922 completed.
Only her sea-trial she made under German flag.
28 June 1919 ceded to the UK under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles.
05 October 1919 a fire on board delayed her delivery more as a year.
1921 The unfinished vessel was bought jointly by White Star and Cunard Lines.
1922 Transferred to the White Star Line, and renamed MAJESTIC.
At that time she was the largest passenger vessel in the world.
10 May 1922 left Southampton for her maiden voyage via Cherbourg to New York.
Flagship of the White Star Line till 1934.
December 1924 due to structural defects in the topsides, she suffered a 100 foot crack; she underwent repairs and was strengthened along B deck.
1928 Refitted and modernized.
February 1934 transferred to Cunard-White Star ownership after a merger between the two companies, but she kept the colours of White Star.
February 1936 laid up at Southampton and sold on 15 May 1936 to Thos W. Ward for breaking up.
08 October 1936 she was not scrapped but in exchange for obsolete warships transferred to the British Admiralty for conversion by Thornecroft, Southampton in a training vessel for 2.000 boys. Her mast and funnels were shortened so she could pass beneath the Firth of Forth bridge. Her engines removed.
08 April 1937 left Southampton bound for her new base at Port Edgard, Rosyth.
23 April 1937 commissioned as HMS CALEDONIA.
When World War II broke out her cadets were moved to shore accommodation, and the CALEDONIA was moved to an anchorage in the Firth of Forth.
29 September 1939 with the intention to rebuild her in a troopship, she caught fire in the evening and burnt out, sinking at her moorings on even keel.
March 1940 sold to Thomas Ward for salvage and scrapping.
12 July 1943 she was salvaged and towed to the scrap yard in Inverkeithing, Fife, Scotland.
Gambia 2004 D35, sg4785, scott?.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RMS_Majestic_(1914). Ships of the Royal Navy by Colledge.
Merchant Fleets in profile volume 4 by Duncan Haws. Lloyds Registers.
The full index of our ship stamp archive
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